The boon has been great for everyone. By proving that food could be done quick, right and cheap, Chipotle single-handedly forced higher quality product into America's fast food and gave us eat-at-our-desk crowds better lunch options.
Now, the chain is tackling pizza. And they are doing it the Chipotle way. What does that mean? Assembly-line pizza. From Westword.com:
Pizzeria Locale [has] a rotational hearth oven powered by gas and infrared, the only one of its kind in the world… order at the counter and watch a line of white-shirted, red-hatted employees spoon toppings from metal containers onto dough that's loaded onto the spinning oven floor. The result [is] consistently delicious pizza coming out of that oven in just two minutes.
The restaurant was opened by two self-professed Italy-philes, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey. So why the unconventional oven-concept? Because they had a private backer in the venture: Chipotle founder Steve Ells.
[Ells has] been a friend of the Frasca partners for more than a decade, Mackinnon-Patterson says, “and we've always talked about the possibility of some kind of collaboration.” That talk became concrete two years ago, when Chipotle Mexican Grill and the Frasca founders partnered to launch a Pizzeria Locale in Denver — but one that would turn the full-service concept into a fast-casual concept, cutting prices without sacrificing on quality.
Their goal was to serve the same ingredients, but cut the price in half. In half! The trio found a way to do it, and are now already looking for new locations in Denver to open more Pizzeria Locales. Which means that pretty soon you'll be seeing it in your city. I'm not complaining and I'm Italian. Are you?